By now, everyone knows about the unfortunate injury that Derrick Rose sustained this past Saturday versus the Philadelphia 76ers. While it’s more or less agreed upon by analysts and fans that the Chicago Bulls will still win their first round matchup, everything beyond that is suddenly in doubt. Should they advance into the second round, the Bulls would take on the winner of the Atlanta Hawks versus Boston Celtics series; either one of those two teams would pose serious problems for a superstar-less mishmash of good, but not great players.
Nobody would blame Chicago’s fans and/or Bulls players for being down about this latest horrible turn of events. But they’re not. Or at least, forward Kyle Korver isn’t. In the aftermath of Rose’s injury, Korver took to Facebook and posted this surprisingly powerful message:
Right about now, the disbelief has faded, anger has subsided and were all wondering... why? Why. Why. Why Derrick, again? Derrick is more than an MVP to our team. He's our friend, our brother he inspires us to be the very best we can be, just by who he is and how hard he plays. That he has spent so much time this year hurt, was frustrating. Now that he is out for the rest of the season, well its just plain sad. No one is to blame; what happened, did. We send him our prayers, our love, our good wishes that he heals and comes back stronger, better, healthier than ever before.
Bulls fans. Now is not the time to ask why or to get bitter. Now is the time to refocus and ask "How are we going to win this Championship?" We have the best Team in the league. This season has proven, we are a TEAM and it has taken us ALL to have the best record. Lets focus on whats ahead. This is an incredible opportunity for All of Us to step up and make it happen. We're all gonna have to work harder and smarter. We are all gonna have to believe in ourselves. That we are more than the sum of our parts. We need YOU to believe with Us. We need You to believe for Us. We are going to keep going strong. One quarter, one game, one round at a time. Until its over. That's how we're gonna do it.
Heading into the postseason, folks were generally split on the Bulls. Everyone sort of liked the team, but they weren’t universally beloved by basketball fans like, say, the Memphis Grizzlies. Now, however, that’s all changed. As soon as Rose grabbed his leg, the Bulls immediately became everyone’s second favorite squad in the playoffs.
Will they ultimately win a championship this year? It’s hard to say. But based on Korver’s deep message, even if they don’t win, it certainly won’t be for a lack of heart.